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  1. - Top - End - #1
    Pixie in the Playground
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    Jul 2013

    Default Need help balancing: The Invoker (Dota 2)

    Hey guys, I need help balancing out a homebrew class to be used in an ongoing campaign. The intent is to modify the sorcerer class into an evocation-focused class that's hopefully Tier 2 with minimal optimization. I'm using the Dota 2 hero Invoker as inspiration. Current campaign expects CR + 2 encounters and higher. Already in the party is a ninja, an alchemist (custom alchemy system), a magus, and a cavalier (custom morale system). Average Party Level is 2 (currently).

    Shameless TL:DR "borrowed" from further down the post:

    1. You summon [an essence], [it stays with you until you fall asleep or use it up].
    2. While the [essence] is active, you gain a bonus that depends on the type of [essence].
    3. You cast a blasty spell
    4. You can, if you want, give up the [essence] to gain a bonus associated with the spell that depends on the type of [essence] used up.


    ~Source: AtillaTheGeek

    So, without further ado:
    Spoiler: The Invoker
    Show
    Table: The Invoker
    Level Base Attack Bonus Fort Save Ref Save Will Save Special Spells per Day
    1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th 7th 8th 9th
    1st 0 0 0 2 Essences (+1), cantrips, eschew materials, evocation mastery 3 — — — — — — — —
    2nd 1 0 0 3 Arcane Feat 4 — — — — — — — —
    3rd 1 1 1 3 Invoke (1/day) 5 — — — — — — — —
    4th 2 1 1 4 Essences (+2) 6 3 — — — — — — —
    5th 2 1 1 4 Evocation mastery (heighten spell) 6 4 — — — — — — —
    6th 3 2 2 5 Invoke (2/day) 6 5 3 — — — — — —
    7th 3 2 2 5 Essences (+3) 6 6 4 — — — — — —
    8th 4 2 2 6 Arcane Feat 6 6 5 3 — — — — —
    9th 4 3 3 6 Invoke (3/day) 6 6 6 4 — — — — —
    10th 5 3 3 7 Essences (+4) 6 6 6 5 3 — — — —
    11th 5 3 3 7 Evocation mastery (empower spell) 6 6 6 6 4 — — — —
    12th 6/1 4 4 8 Invoke (4/day) 6 6 6 6 5 3 — — —
    13th 6/1 4 4 8 Essences (+5), Arcane Feat 6 6 6 6 6 4 — — —
    14th 7/2 4 4 9 Arcane Feat 6 6 6 6 6 5 3 — —
    15th 7/2 5 5 9 Invoke (5/day) 6 6 6 6 6 6 4 — —
    16th 8/3 5 5 10 Essences (+6) 6 6 6 6 6 6 5 3 —
    17th 8/3 5 5 10 Evocation mastery (maximize spell) 6 6 6 6 6 6 6 4 —
    18th 9/4 6 6 11 Invoke (6/day) 6 6 6 6 6 6 6 5 3
    19th 9/4 6 6 11 Essences (+7) 6 6 6 6 6 6 6 6 4
    20th 10/5 6 6 12 True evocation mastery, Arcane Feat 6 6 6 6 6 6 6 6 6

    Spoiler: Class Features
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    Class Features

    The following are class features of the Invoker.

    Weapon and Armor Proficiency


    Invokers are proficient with all simple weapons. They are not proficient with any type of armor or shield. Armor interferes with an invoker's gestures, which can cause her spells with somatic components to fail (see Arcane Spells and Armor).

    Spells


    An invoker casts arcane spells drawn primarily from the sorcerer/wizard spell list. She can cast any spell she knows without preparing it ahead of time. To learn or cast a spell, an invoker must have a Charisma score equal to at least 10 + the spell level. The Difficulty Class for a saving throw against an invoker's spell is 10 + the spell level + the invoker's Charisma modifier.

    Like other spellcasters, an invoker can cast only a certain number of spells of each spell level per day. Her base daily spell allotment is given on Table: Sorcerer. In addition, she receives bonus spells per day if she has a high Charisma score (see Table: Ability Modifiers and Bonus Spells).

    An invoker's selection of spells is extremely limited. An invoker begins play knowing four 0-level spells and two 1st-level spells of her choice. At each new invoker level, she gains one or more new spells, as indicated on Table: Sorcerer Spells Known. (Unlike spells per day, the number of spells a sorcerer knows is not affected by her Charisma score; the numbers on Table: Sorcerer Spells Known are fixed.) These new spells can be common spells chosen from the sorcerer/wizard spell list, or they can be unusual spells that the invoker has gained some understanding of through study.

    Upon reaching 4th level, and at every even-numbered invoker level after that (6th, 8th, and so on), an invoker can choose to learn a new spell in place of one she already knows. In effect, the invoker loses the old spell in exchange for the new one. The new spell's level must be the same as that of the spell being exchanged. An invoker may swap only a single spell at any given level, and must choose whether or not to swap the spell at the same time that she gains new spells known for the level.

    Unlike a wizard or a cleric an invoker need not prepare her spells in advance. She can cast any spell she knows at any time, assuming she has not yet used up her spells per day for that spell level.

    Spells Known


    The invoker gain a number of spells known equivalent to a sorcerer of her level.
    Spoiler: Table: Sorcerer Spells Known
    Show

    Level Spells Known
    0th 1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th 7th 8th 9th
    1st 4 2 — — — — — — — —
    2nd 5 2 — — — — — — — —
    3rd 5 3 — — — — — — — —
    4th 6 3 1 — — — — — — —
    5th 6 4 2 — — — — — — —
    6th 7 4 2 1 — — — — — —
    7th 7 5 3 2 — — — — — —
    8th 8 5 3 2 1 — — — — —
    9th 8 5 4 3 2 — — — — —
    10th 9 5 4 3 2 1 — — — —
    11th 9 5 5 4 3 2 — — — —
    12th 9 5 5 4 3 2 1 — — —
    13th 9 5 5 4 4 3 2 — — —
    14th 9 5 5 4 4 3 2 1 — —
    15th 9 5 5 4 4 4 3 2 — —
    16th 9 5 5 4 4 4 3 2 1 —
    17th 9 5 5 4 4 4 3 3 2 —
    18th 9 5 5 4 4 4 3 3 2 1
    19th 9 5 5 4 4 4 3 3 3 2
    20th 9 5 5 4 4 4 3 3 3 3


    Evocation Mastery


    Invokers are evocation and elemental magic specialists, her mastery and dedication to the school comes at a price. Whenever an invoker casts a non-evocation spell, or spell without the [fire], [cold], [electricity], [sonic], or [acid] descriptor, she consumes a spell slot one level higher. These spells require at least a full-round action to cast, though adding spontaneous metamagic feats to the spell do not extend its casting time further. This does not increase the actual effective level of the spell (in terms of save DCs or effects).

    Whenever the invoker applies a metamagic feat to an evocation spell or spell with the [fire], [cold], [electricity], [sonic], or [acid] descriptor, increase her effective caster level by 1 for these effects. She may also apply metamagic feats to these spells without incurring the full-round casting time.

    At level 5, an invoker may apply the Heighten Spell metamagic feat to her evocation spells or spells with the [fire], [cold], [electricity], [sonic], or [acid] descriptor even if she does not have the Heighten Spell metamagic feat. At level 11, she may apply the Empower Spell metamagic, and at level 17, she may apply Maximize Spell metamagic.

    Essences


    An invoker learns how to manipulate magical energy into special essences that orbit her person. A summoned essence is a small ball of magical energy that orbits the invoker’s head. Maintaining an essence is a passive act of concentration. The essences an invoker has on her person remains until she loses consciousness for more than 6 seconds (either though a harmful spell or her simply sleeping for the night), or until she consumes them in the casting of a spell. At 1st level, the invoker may have only one essence on her person at a time, this allotment increases by 1 for every 3 invoker levels she gains, up to a maximum of 7 essences at 19th level.

    Summoning an essence is a standard action that provokes attacks of opportunities. As the invoker levels, her ability to summon essences become faster and more efficient. At level 5, she can summon one essence as a move action. At level 10, she can do this as a swift action, at level 15, it's a free action. The invoker may only summon essences as a free action once per round, and only on her turn. At 5th level and every 5 levels afterward, the number of essences summoned all available methods increases by 1. This is summarized in the Table: Summoning Essences below.

    Spoiler: Table: Summoning Essences
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    Level Essences Summoned per Action
    Standard Movement Swift Free
    1st 1 — — —
    2nd 1 — — —
    3rd 1 — — —
    4th 1 — — —
    5th 2 1 — —
    6th 2 1 — —
    7th 2 1 — —
    8th 2 1 — —
    9th 2 1 — —
    10th 3 2 1 —
    11th 3 2 1 —
    12th 3 2 1 —
    13th 3 2 1 —
    14th 3 2 1 —
    15th 4 3 2 1
    16th 4 3 2 1
    17th 4 3 2 1
    18th 4 3 2 1
    19th 4 3 2 1
    20th 5 4 3 2


    The essences each embody an aspect of magical energy, and grant minor boons to the invoker while they exist. Whenever the invoker casts an evocation spell or spell with the [fire], [cold], [electricity], [sonic], or [acid] descriptor, she may consume essences to increase the potency of the spell. This removes the consumed essences from her person and ends their existing passive effects. In addition, for every essence consumed, increase the save DC for the spell by 1. An invoker may consume at most four essences per spell.

    Each essence confers a numerical bonus of +1, increasing by 1 every 3 levels after first. This bonus is referred to as essence bonus. The sum bonus of essences refers to the essence bonus multiplied by the number of essences. For example, a level 10 invoker with 2 Quas, 1 Wex, and 1 Exort essences on her person has a sum bonus of +8 for Quas, +4 for Wex, and +4 for Exort.

    The following are essences currently available to invokers, essences are chosen when they are summoned, but the invoker can exchange any and all current essences on her person for one another with a DC 20 Spellcraft check. This is a swift action that does not provoke attacks of opportunity.

    Spoiler: Quas
    Show
    Quas: An essence bearing the power of cold, it encompasses the aspect of body and regeneration. Whenever a Quas essence is summoned, the invoker gains temporary hit points equal to her essence bonus. This bonus is not applied if she exchanges another essence for a Quas essence. These temporary hit points stack with existing temporary hit points, lasts up to 10 minutes, and is not removed when the invoker consumes Quas essences. The invoker can only have a maximum of 100 temporary hit points from Quas essences at a time. For each Quas essence consumed in the casting of a spell, the invoker and her allies within 60 feet heal hit point damage equal to two times the combined essence bonuses of all essences spent. For example, a level 7 invoker (essences + 3) consumes two Quas essences and one Exort essence when she casts a spell, she and her allies heal for 12 damage (2 Quas essences * 2 essence bonus * 3 essences spent).

    Spoiler: Wex
    Show
    Wex: A essence bearing the power of electricity, it encompasses the aspect of celerity. The invoker’s movement speed is increased by 5 feet per Wex bonus on her person, up to a maximum of three times her base speed, she also gain a dodge bonus to AC against attacks of opportunities incurred due to her movement equal to the sum of her Wex bonuses. The invoker can cast her evocation spells or any spell with the [fire], [cold], [electricity], [force], or [acid] descriptor as a swift action (per the Quicken Spell metamagic feat) by consuming a number of Wex essences whose sum bonuses equals twice the spell level. This does not increase the spell slot requirement for that spell. For example, a level 5 invoker (essences +2) can consume two Wex essences (sum bonuses = 4) to cast a level 2 spell, using a 2nd level spell slot, as a swift action.

    Spoiler: Exort
    Show
    Exort: An essence bearing the power of fire, it encompasses the aspect of mind and destruction. The invoker’s harmful spells gain an increase in damage equal to the sum bonus of all Exort essences on her person. This bonus damage is only applied once per spell, i.e. a 3-ray scorching ray spell would only gain the bonus once, though it is divisible (among the targets) by the invoker in any fraction she deems appropriate. This additional damage is of the same type as the spell being cast. If the spell has no type or does not deal damage normally, it is treated as piercing damage. By consuming Exort essences, the invoker may overcome energy resistance or DR equal to the sum bonus of consumed Exort essences, this also increases her effective caster level equal to sum bonuses divided by 3 for purposes of overcoming spell resistance. For example, a level 10 invoker (essences +4) can consume three Exort essences to overcome 12 points of energy resistance (3 Exort * 4 essence bonus), her caster level check to overcome spell resistance would be equal to d20 + 10 (her caster level) + 4 ((3 Exort * 4 ssence bonus)/3). In addition, the passive bonus to spell damage is added. So for the previous example, the spell would have dealt an additional 12 points of damage, in addition to overcoming 12 points of energy resistance and increasing the invoker's caster level by 4 in terms of overcoming spell resistance.

    Spoiler: Rodere
    Show
    Rodere: An essence bearing the power of acid, it encompasses the aspect of corrosion and decay. Increase the invoker's saving throws against disease and poison by the sum bonus of her Rodere essences, this is a resistance bonus that does not stack with other resistance bonuses. By consuming Rodere essences, the invoker can reduce the base Fortitude, base Reflex, or AC bonus (her choice) of an enemy by an amount equal to the sum bonuses of Rodere essences consumed divided by 2 (minimum 1) on a failed save. If the spell does not allow a save, make a Will saving throw at DC (10 + the spell's level + the invoker's charisma modifier + # of essences consumed by the spell) to avoid the effect. This cannot reduce a creature's base saving throws below 0, and can remove at maximum a creature's armor (manufacted or natural) + shield bonus in AC. Only one enemy can be affected per spell cast. If a spell would affect multiple enemies, the invoker chooses which to apply Rodere's effects. These effects last for a number of rounds equal to the sum bonus of Rodere essences consumed, and do not stack with itself. A stronger Rodere effect (from consuming more essences) overrides an existing, weaker effect, it does not add to it.

    Spoiler: Swen
    Show
    Swen: An essence bearing the power of sound, it encompasses the aspect of force and brutality. Increase the invoker's CMD by an amount equal to the sum bonus of her Swen essences. By consuming Swen essences in the casting of a spell, on a target's failed save, the invoker can move a target 5 feet per point of sum bonus of Swen essences consumed. If the spell does not allow a saving throw, make a Fort save at DC (10 + the spell's level + the invoker's charisma modifier + # of essences consumed by the spell). If the spell hits multiple targets, all targets are equally affected. If a target is moved more than twice its size category, it is knocked prone. If the target moves into a solid, immovable object (like a wall), its movement is stopped in front of the object and it takes 1d6 points of damage for every 5 feet of remaining "movement", and is knocked prone. If the target moves into a creature's space, and the impacted creature's CMD is less than the remaining "movement" of the effect, both creatures are moved the remaining distance minus the impacted creature's CMD (round down) and are knocked prone, landing adjacent to one another, otherwise, if the impacted creature's CMD is greater than the remaining "movement", treat it as a solid, immovable object, and both it and the affected creature takes 1d6 damage per 5 feet of remaining "movement". The direction of movement is opposite of the direction of the spell, i.e. a ray would push the target away from the invoker, a blast would push a target away from the center of the radius. (Use your logic, guise). This movement does not provoke attacks of opportunities from the invoker's allies.


    Though essences are elemental in nature, their spell-related effects, both passive and consumption-based, are granted to all spells of the evocation school and all spells with the [fire], [cold], [electricity], [sonic], or [acid] descriptors, if applicable.

    The invoker may consume multiple different types of essences at the same time to gain multiple effects. A 15th level invoker can consume 2 Quas and 2 Wex essences to cast a 5th level spell as a swift action that also heals her and her party members for 40 (2 quas*4 essences*5 essence bonus) hit points of damage.

    Cantrips

    Invokers learn a number of cantrips, or 0-level spells, as noted on Table: Sorcerer Spells Known under “Spells Known.” These spells are cast like any other spell, but they do not consume any slots and may be used again. All 0th-level spells are not subject to the Invoker's Evocation Mastery class feature.

    Eschew Materials


    An invoker gains Eschew Materials as a bonus feat at 1st level.

    Arcane Feat


    At level 2 and every 6th level after, the invoker gains a bonus feat. This bonus feat must be Spell Focus, Spell Penetration, or any feat with Spell Focus or Spell Penetration as prerequisite. The bonus feat may also be any metamagic feat. She must meet the prerequisites for these feats.

    Invoke


    An experienced invoker learns to make the most out of her carefully crafted essences. Once per day at 3rd level, and once more per day every three levels beyond 3rd, the invoker may add the consumption effect of one essence to her spell without actually consuming it. The invoker must still have the correct number and types of essences on her person to invoke.

    At 6th level, the invoker may apply the consumption effects of two her essences without consuming them. At 9th level and every 3rd level afterward, the invoker may consume an additional essence per invocation without losing it, up to a maximum of 7 essences at level 18. This is the only way for an invoker to consume more than four essences per spell cast.

    True Evocation Mastery


    At level 20, the invoker becomes a true master of evocation spells. She gains the Spell Perfection feat with respect to all evocation spells and spells with the [fire], [cold], [electricity], [sonic], or [acid] descriptor. She must still know the metamagic feat she is adding to her spells, with the exception of Heighten Spell, Empower Spell, and Maximize Spell. In addition, she may apply metamagic feats to these spells even if the combined spell level exceeds 9th level, though she must burn an equivalent level of spell slots equal to the excess. She must always spend a 9th level spell slot to cast any spell beyond 9th level.

    For example, a level 20 invoker may cast Quickened (+4) Empowered (+2) Maximized (+3) Delayed Blast Fireball (7th level spell), a spell whose sum level requires a spell slot of 16th level, by consuming one 9th level spell slot and one 7th level spell slot; or one 9th level spell slot, one 4th level spell slot, and one 3rd level spell slot; or one 9th level spell slot, and seven 1st level spell slots.


    Any input would be helpful, especially nerf-bat related. The player playing this class is not an optimizer, but some of the other members in the party are, so I wanted to make sure he doesn't feel left behind. Should I make the essences targetable/sunderable (ala component pouches)?

    EDIT #1: Clarity/sanity edit.

    EDIT #2: Removed Spellcraft requirement to summon essences, will consult schizophrenic duo why excessive dice-rolling was necessary.

    EDIT #3: Added Rodere and Swen essences.

    EDIT #4 ​(in progress): add shinies to Invoke.
    Last edited by InfinityArts; 2014-12-13 at 04:34 PM. Reason: Reworked summoning essences, less dice rolling

  2. - Top - End - #2
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    nonsi's Avatar

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    Default Re: Need help balancing: The Invoker (Dota 2)

    .
    So, you're proposing to kill the Warlock for basically a Warmage alternative.
    Not the way I'd handle things, but....... whatever rocks your boat.



    Ok, before you deal with the balancing of a class, you should make sure it is user friendly.

    First, the need to regularly use "aether" and "quintessences" and "Quas"/"Wex"/"Exort" when dealing with this class is somewhat jaw breaking (I mean, "Quas quintessences" is jaw breaking even when I say it in my head).
    Consider changing to a shorter term (essnce/mana/arcana....... whatever).

    Second, it's not clear what it means to have a quintessence active (duration?!) and what it means to consume a quintessence?

    Third, ATM the document is not reader-friendly. When reading the description of a proposed class, I'd expect the mechanics to hit me in the face, not having to dig them up.
    Go over the class as if it weren't you creation. Restructure and rephrase so that things are clearer.
    For example: "Unless otherwise stated, the quintessences grant a bonus equal to the maximum number of quintessences an invoker can have at her level"
    So how does it work?
    You spend a single quintessence and gain +4 bonus (assuming you're 10th level), or 4 quintessence and gain +4 bonus (I'm assuming the former, but this should be crystal clear)?
    And that's really just an example.

    Lastly, what's the breakdown between "Quas"/"Wex"/"Exort" and [fire]/[cold]/[electricity]/[sonic]/[acid]
    Do they grant the benefits noted above plus the ones detailed for each of them? (or what?)




    I believe that after you resolve the above, the class will be a lot more PEACH-able.

  3. - Top - End - #3
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    AttilaTheGeek's Avatar

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    Default Re: Need help balancing: The Invoker (Dota 2)

    I think I finally figured out what the Quintessences do, and if they work the way I think they do then they're really cool. If not, then they're even more confusingly worded than I thought. If I understand correctly, they function like this:
    1. You summon a quintessence
    2. While the quintessence is active, you gain a bonus that depends on the type of quintessence.
    3. You cast a blasty spell
    4. You can, if you want, give up the quintessence to gain a bonus associated with the spell that depends on the type of quintessence.

    That sounds good because, in theory, the player has to make in interesting choice about which, if any, quintessences to give up with each spell.

    However, the execution is confusing at best. Why does an Invoker need to make a Spellcraft check at a very high DC to use their core class feature? Down that path lies madness the Truenamer. Why does summoning a quintessence need to take more than a swift action? If it's a standard action, then it's competing against spells for the player's actions, and they're not nearly as powerful as spells. I strongly suggest rewriting the mechanics behind quintessences to make them easier to use, as nonsi pointed out.

    Also, why are they called quintessences? There are only three of them! You should write at least two more, maybe give then level prerequisites if you write a bunch.
    Homebrew: Temporalist • Quotebox • Avatar by Kris on a Stick
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  4. - Top - End - #4
    Pixie in the Playground
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    Default Re: Need help balancing: The Invoker (Dota 2)

    Spoiler: Replies to nonsi
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    Quote Originally Posted by nonsi View Post
    So, you're proposing to kill the Warlock for basically a Warmage alternative.
    Not the way I'd handle things, but....... whatever rocks your boat.
    The Warlock 3rd party class in Pathfinder sucks. Just my personal opinion, and it rocks my boat pretty well. Also, AFAIK, neither Paizo nor any 3rd part has released a Pathfinder version of the Warmage. I'm also not looking for something of that 3.5 flavor.

    Quote Originally Posted by nonsi View Post
    Ok, before you deal with the balancing of a class, you should make sure it is user friendly.

    First, the need to regularly use "aether" and "quintessences" and "Quas"/"Wex"/"Exort" when dealing with this class is somewhat jaw breaking (I mean, "Quas quintessences" is jaw breaking even when I say it in my head).
    Consider changing to a shorter term (essnce/mana/arcana....... whatever).
    All instances of aether has been changed to read "magical energy", likewise, all "quintessences" are now "essences". I'm maintaining "Quas", "Wex", and "Exort", though, if only to affirm my own pathetic identity as a QWER user.

    Quote Originally Posted by nonsi View Post
    Second, it's not clear what it means to have a quintessence active (duration?!) and what it means to consume a quintessence?
    Clarified.

    Quote Originally Posted by nonsi View Post
    Third, ATM the document is not reader-friendly. When reading the description of a proposed class, I'd expect the mechanics to hit me in the face, not having to dig them up.
    ...
    And that's really just an example.
    I'll try to clear it up even further, I've shamelessly copied the wording from similar Pathfinder material (namely the sorcerer), but I can see your point.

    Quote Originally Posted by nonsi View Post
    Lastly, what's the breakdown between "Quas"/"Wex"/"Exort" and [fire]/[cold]/[electricity]/[sonic]/[acid]
    Do they grant the benefits noted above plus the ones detailed for each of them? (or what?)
    The point is a mage that specializes in blasty and elemental spells. He can apply his class abilities (essences and invoking) to any spell from the evocation school or any spell with those respective elemental descriptors. I thought I was pretty clear with that, but apparently not. Seems like a TL:DR is necessary.

    Spoiler: Replies to AtillaTheGeek
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    Quote Originally Posted by AttilaTheGeek View Post
    1. You summon a quintessence
    2. While the quintessence is active, you gain a bonus that depends on the type of quintessence.
    3. You cast a blasty spell
    4. You can, if you want, give up the quintessence to gain a bonus associated with the spell that depends on the type of quintessence.
    Yes. . I'm "borrowing" this.

    Quote Originally Posted by AttilaTheGeek View Post
    However, the execution is confusing at best. Why does an Invoker need to make a Spellcraft check at a very high DC to use their core class feature? Down that path lies madness the Truenamer. Why does summoning a quintessence need to take more than a swift action? If it's a standard action, then it's competing against spells for the player's actions, and they're not nearly as powerful as spells. I strongly suggest rewriting the mechanics behind quintessences to make them easier to use, as nonsi pointed out.
    If you note the table, the summoning DC for essences decrease as the invoker levels, and she can summon essences faster. At level 5, she can summon essences as a move action by increasing the DC by 5. At level 9, she can do this as a swift action, at level 13, it's a free action. At each of these levels, the DC for previous means of summoning decreases by 5. Though I should have put this into text as well as listing it in the table.

    I can be convinced to make summoning initially a move action if the invoker's not up to par, but the point is to come into battle with a "bank" of usable essences. This plays well with her up-front, blasty nature by allowing her to nova immediately and burst down priority targets. After which, she can settle down and rebuild for the next burst. I don't want the invoker to be able to sling uber-spells every round. I figured that the action economy is the only way to keep this class from T1.

    I've reduced the DC by 10, as a DC 45 check is probably difficult for even level 20 characters. The DC increase to summon multiple essences at a time has also been halved.

    Quote Originally Posted by AttilaTheGeek View Post
    Also, why are they called quintessences? There are only three of them! You should write at least two more, maybe give then level prerequisites if you write a bunch.
    There are 5 energy descriptors. . But alas, all "quintessences" have been changed to "essences" to save readers' brain-jaws. I will add the final two essences when I am more creative.


    Thanks for the feedback, guises. Keep 'em coming.
    Last edited by InfinityArts; 2014-12-13 at 03:38 AM.

  5. - Top - End - #5
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    Default Re: Need help balancing: The Invoker (Dota 2)

    Why do you have to make spellcraft checks to use your primary class feature?
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    Pixie in the Playground
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    Default Re: Need help balancing: The Invoker (Dota 2)

    It seems you're really stuck on this. Spellcraft requirement removed, slightly nerfed "essences by action" table.

  7. - Top - End - #7
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    AttilaTheGeek's Avatar

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    Default Re: Need help balancing: The Invoker (Dota 2)

    I mean, I don't want you to change it just because I said so. I'm just some guy on the internet.

    It was an honest question- why is it best for your player to have a chance of failure every time they use their main class feature? There must have been some reasoning behind it, and I was just asking what that reasoning was.
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  8. - Top - End - #8
    Pixie in the Playground
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    Default Re: Need help balancing: The Invoker (Dota 2)

    I'll try to explain my thought process on that:

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    First, I wanted to create a class that would be comparable to a sorcerer of her level. In some cases--namely when she has available essences to burn, and there just happens to be disagreeable things that needs to be put down--she would be more useful than the sorcerer. In others, namely when she needs to cast any non-blasty spell, or when she gets caught with her pants down and doesn't have essences prepared, she would be less useful than the sorcerer.

    So, I wanted to implement a system that accentuates these strengths and weaknesses. On the weak end, she needs at least a full-round action to cast any non-blasty-hurty spell, and these spells require a spell slot one level higher. On the strong end, she has no problems casting blasty-hurty spells, and can enhance them with essentially "free metamagics" through the essences. At this point, I realized that the weaknesses of the class can be easily avoided with proper planning, while the positive end of the class can ALWAYS be abused, as long as essences are available. The full-round action is pretty irrelevant outside of combat, and in-combat, why bother spending a full round standing like a douche when you can just blast the cheese out of something and get rid of the threat quicker? The offensive meta of the D&D genre makes any non-blasty-hurty spell worth casting as a full-round action much less appealing when you get them two levels later and consumes a spell slot one level higher. There is no meaningful choice if one option is, say 80% of the time, much better than the other.

    At this point, I needed to reign in the positive end. I wanted to do this by reducing the relative number of situations in which the blasting option is just better by decreasing the availability of essences. I keyed the summoning off of a Spellcraft check because it relies on a secondary stat (Int), and thus also decrease the class's effectiveness a little by introducing some MAD. Allthewhile, I had to keep in mind the lesson learned from the Truenamer class. Kept the DC pretty achievable with just ranks alone, it'll always be DC 45 to summon the last essence (15 + 5*6). Even with 20 ranks and +10 competence boosting gear, this isn't a guaranteed success. Summoning multiple essences at a time makes it even harder. By level 20, though, burning a standard action bumps that check down to 25, which is pretty manageable. Assuming the average invoker spends the fight at around 4 essences on her person on average, she can attempt to summon two more by a DC 35 (15 + 5*4 + 2*10 - 20) Spellcraft check as a standard action was pretty okay by me. This is even easier if she has fewer essences (but then she'd be losing out on all the passive boosts), so managing essences is a meaningful choice that I'm giving the player. Regardless, it serves my purpose by slowing down the invoker's action economy, giving her that sense of awesome power (when she has a lot of essences to burn) as well as that sense of frail uncertainty (when she has only a few and must decide if she wants to gamble for more, and if she does, how much to gamble), which, I think, is what makes playing a character exciting.


    TL;DR: I wanted to force the player to make meaningful choices in how she manages her essences. The chance of failure is why I, personally, play D&D. It's cathartic to do something epic, and even moreso when I fail epicly. Essences are very powerful and should not be given out freely (as I've done, misinterpreting your questions). That's on me for being spineless internet dweeb and valuing others' opinions highly.

    Now that I've talked about it, makes me want to bring the Spellcraft checks back. The current system just lacks... danger. Would like some more feedback on this matter, though.
    Last edited by InfinityArts; 2014-12-13 at 09:43 PM.

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